Monday, 12 January 2015

The Music - Talking Heads blast out ‘Life During Wartime’ (1979)

This ain’t no party. This ain’t no disco. This 
ain’t no foolin’ around ...

Amazingly 35 years old this month and still as fresh as ever!

Yap, Talking Heads released the mighty timeless ‘Life During Wartime’- the first single for their fine Fear of Music LP  - back in August, 1979.

Fear of Music was universally acclaimed at the time. It was voted the best album of 1979 by Britain’s NME and Melody Maker magazines and by the Los Angeles Times in the US.

Talking to writer David Bowman, Byrne described the genesis of ‘Life During Wartime’, saying ...
"I wrote this in my loft on Seventh and Avenue A .... I was thinking about Baader-Meinhof. Patty Hearst. Tompkins Square. This a song about living in Alphabet City."

In the liner notes of Once in a Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads, Byrne spoke of one of the most quoted lines from the song, writing ...
"The line 'this ain't no disco' sure stuck! ... Remember when they would build bonfires of Donna Summer records? Well, we liked some disco music! It's called 'dance music' now. Some of it was radical, camp, silly, transcendent and disposable. So it was funny that we were sometimes seen as the flag-bearers of the anti-disco movement."
The song - and indeed album - was produced by Brian Eno,

And a rather bizarre piece of trivia about the song is that cult comedy actor Gene Wilder actually plays congas on “Life During Wartime” (and on "I Zimbra" too.)

A great version of the song was later, memorably, recorded in the live concert film and album, Stop Making Sense, while a different live version appeared on The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads.

You can see the band performing a great rendition of “Life During Wartime” live on US telly back in 1979.

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